Gonzalez Byass
Posted in Wine Event

Gonzalez Byass Portfolio Tasting 2020

Gonzalez Byass is one of the UK´s premier wine distributors with an impressive and ever expanding portfolio consisting of quality wine brands. Famously known for Sherry, in particular Tio Pepe, the family feature five generations of Gonzalez´s dating back to 1835. I was kindly invited along to their annual Portfolio tasting at the impressive OXO2 tower on the Southbank in London. With my love of Spanish wines in particular I was really looking forward to…

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Aldi - Fire Tree Fiano white wine
Posted in Italian Wine

The Fire Tree Fiano

A lovely tasting, well made wine for under a fiver, hard to find you may say, well, maybe not. I stuck one of these Italian ‘Fire Tree’ Fiano bottles in my basket when browsing around our brand new Aldi store. For £4.99 on offer it was a no brainer so I took a chance with it, even though I was not expecting much but as it turned out it was ‘not a lot of money’…

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Porta 6 Reserva 2015
Posted in Portuguese wine

Vidigal wines – Porta 6 Reserva

Vidigal is a family run company in Portugal, making good affordable wines, with over 1,000 acres of vineyards around the Lisbon area as well as vineyards in Tagus, Douro, Alentejo, Dão, Beiras and Vinho Verde, the company produces over 3 million bottles a year. Remember when the Porta 6 broke the Majestic stores website, due to it’s large demand after TV celebrity chef James Martin claimed it was the best tasting red wine he has…

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Furmint February tasting 2020
Posted in Wine Event

Furmint February 2020

In praise of all things Furmint – The Hungarian Jewell in the crown part 2 It’s ‘Furmint February’ time again and I was lucky enough to attend a tasting here in the UK of Hungarian wines made with their national grape Furmint, the event was a triumph and a real showcase of how good these wines can be. So when I was invited again this year I jumped at the chance and in my opinion…

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Posted in New Zealand wine

Nautilus Wines – The real deal

I first tasted a Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc last summer sitting in our back garden enjoying the sunshine during a mini heatwave and I must admit I thought it was one of the better Sovee Bee’s I had tried in a long time. So when I came across their Pinot Noir I had no hesitation in buying a bottle on the strength of the Sovee hoping it wouldn’t disappoint but I shouldn’t have worried this was…

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Selection of 4 wines
Posted in Misc

A Mixed Bunch

Here’s a short selection of a mixed bunch of wines I’ve been drinking over the last week or so, some very good and one I couldn’t quite make up my mind about even though I’ve been looking forward to drinking it for a while. Esprit De Chablis 2018 Waitrose £10 (usual price around £17) Picked up during the recent 10 For £10 promotion, everything a good Chablis should be, lively citrus fruit, very dry, lots…

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Posted in Waitrose

A new decade and my first 2020 review

A very happy new year to you all and welcome to my first post of 2020. With the madness of the Christmas festivities and overindulgence that goes with it out of the way, at last things can settle back to some kind of normality. Perhaps the most significant thing that has happened to me over the Christmas period is that I have now officially retired, so no going back to work for me, although it…

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A small selection of wines I've enjoyed in 2019
Posted in Star Buys 2019

A small selection of wines I’ve enjoyed for £20 or less in 2019

Well here we are nearly at the end of another year, a year in which I’ve been lucky enough to sample some very good wines and unfortunately some not so good. Although a lot of the good stuff is normally out of my price range there has been a lot of nice quality on show as well which are much more affordable for so called ‘everyday drinking’. I’ve attended numerous tastings this year in which…

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Posted in Australian Wine Co-op

ARTAN Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Searching for a wine on the high street, popping into all the big major supermarkets, navigating your way around all the deals and promotions, half price this (which is probably what it’s worth in the first place) and 25% off 6 bottles, it’s worth remembering that there is a smaller chain out there that also has a selection of excellent wines. The shop in question is the Co op and their range often falls under…

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Posted in Champagne

Champagne Autréau

Friends of ours (@Aimetu and @NickThurDon) visited the London wine fair back in 2018 where they met representatives of this Champagne house Autréau  as we were all going on a trip to the Champagne region they organised an appointment for us to meet winemaker Eric Autréau who very kindly gave up his time to show us around and we ended up bringing a few bottles of his superb fizz home with us. See my post here for…

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Posted in French Wine Wine Event

An evening tasting ‘Cellier des Dauphins’ wines

On the 13th November 2019 I found myself in a what is described as a ‘rustic convivial’ French style restaurant called Noize set in the Fitzrovia region of London. Courtesy of Jo Thompson owner and director of Belleville Marketing I was invited to a wine tasting evening of one of the most recognisable and distinctive French wine producers ‘Cellier des Dauphins‘ showcasing their range of wines including some fabulous new additions. Uniting thirteen local wine…

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Edna Valley Chardonnay
Posted in Majestic

Edna Valley 2017 Chardonnay

Do you enjoy Chardonnay? and why is it still treated with some apprehension? Rich and loud, popular in the 90’s although Bridget Jones did her best to make it slightly naff drinking copious amounts usually with tears running down her face. It was the bottle to take to a party where you could knock it back without thinking about what you are drinking, most of it being little over the top in flavour, too buttery,…

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Terre di Chieti Pecorino wine
Posted in M&S

Pecorino: Is it a Grape or is it a Cheese?

Well, in fact it’s both, the Pecorino grape is grown in the Abruzzo and Marche regions of central Italy producing a crisp dry white wine and the Pecorino cheese which has a hard crumbly texture, similar to Parmesan but more salty is from the Tuscany, Sardinia and Lazio regions. The word itself is derived from ‘Pecora’ which translates to ‘sheep’ in Italian and the wine is said to have been given it’s name due to…

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Posted in Waitrose

Terre di Faiano Primitivo 2016 Organic wine

Organic wine, seems to be springing up everywhere and there seems to be more and more winemakers around the world using the principles of organic farming to produce their wines. They work with nature without the help of artificial or synthetic chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides to grow their grapes, with perhaps the odd sheep or two grazing amongst the vines to keep the weeds at bay creating a natural ecosystem. Some say that…

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M&S Oloroso Sherry
Posted in M&S

The Joy of Sherry

You either love it or hate fortified wine , in my experience no other option is viable, you either get it or you don’t, basically it’s a bit of a Marmite drink. There is no doubting that sherry causes debate with its many styles from bone dry to cloyingly sweet. This Oloroso which literally translates to Fragrant or scented is somewhere in between dry and sweet. Just before I get into reviewing this bottle here…

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Posted in Australian Wine

Ian Botham Wines, 2nd Test

As I’ve said in an earlier review of celebrity endorsed wines I’m always a bit sceptical but I must say in this case that scepticism is unfounded, the Botham range of wines in which I have now tasted three, are well made and for the price more than hold there own against similarly priced wines. Sir Ian Botham, as well as being one of England’s all time best cricketers is also a passionate wine lover,…

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Posted in The Wine Society

Have you tried White Rioja ?

We all know and love a Rioja but mention Rioja and most people will associate it with Spanish red wine but have you tried the white version from this iconic region of northern Spain. The wine known as Rioja Blanco is primarily made from the Viura (aka Macabeo) grape which has to make up at least 51% of the blend. Other grapes used to name a few, are Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca and Tempranillo Blanco but…

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Posted in M&S

M&S Wine Festival offers

I recently bought some wine from M&S during their latest ‘Wine Festival’ discount promotion in which they were selling off a large selection of bottles for anything from a few pounds off to over half the recommended price. The wines on offer varied from store to store but if you were lucky enough there were some real bargains to be had. Friends told me that they were finding offers like Chavy Chouet Femelottes white burgundy…

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Posted in Wine Event

Hosting a ‘Wine Tasting’ evening

Having been to many ‘Wine Tasting’ events in the past most of them very enjoyable and informative I decided to hold my own such evening and let me tell you I ‘doff my cap’ to the people who organise them and as I found out, it’s not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of preparation from, finding a venue, selecting a theme, sourcing the wines, buying them, researching them, preparing tasting /…

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Posted in Co-op Waitrose

Two dynamic summer whites

I have to bring to your attention two white wines which I have enjoyed during our recent spell of hot weather. To start with I revisited a Vinho Verde from Waitrose/Majestic that I first tasted a few years ago and then a real gem of a find from the Co op, a quite superb Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Sovee Bee). The Vinho Verde was a real surprise I will explain why in a moment and the…

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